…10 Years Forward…


“Homecoming”

I’m honored to do Genie’s hair. Brings back memories of doing hair while Derek and I were both in college. He was finishing up his Bachelor’s in Religious Studies and I was getting my Master’s in Education. I worked at a high end salon, so I was racking in a lot of dough. Derek was working two jobs on top of going to school. And when I wasn’t at the salon, I was taking care of our girls… we barely saw each other.

But now, I work at Brink as a Math Teacher and Derek works at a Christian School as a Chaplain. He still works at warehouse some nights and on the weekends, but we’re not crazy busy like we used to be. He’s currently working on his Masters and wants to get his Doctorate eventually. I’m amazed at where we are!

“Wha-la!” I say spritzing her tight, pulled back bun with hairspray to hold it in place all night. I really didn’t do anything fancy.

She stands up and gives me the mightiest hug for the skinniest girl. Then she holds my shoulders and looks me in the eye, “I had a dream you and Derek had a baby boy.”

With an eye roll, “Derek and I are happy with both our girls… we don’t need anymore kids.”

We really couldn’t afford that right now.

“I’m just saying… he’s adorable! He looks like Papa Trick.”

Julie is pasty white with straight black hair and hazel eyes. Priscilla has straight red hair and ice blue eyes with freckles. She’s trying to tell me Derek and I are going to have a kid with brown skin and curly hair? HA!

“What are you smoking?” I joke.

“I know this is hard to accept but accept it!” She says keeping her cheery smile. She takes her navy-blue ball gown off its rack that helped it hang on the door of her closet. The bell of the gown embellished with faux diamonds and pearly-looking jewels. The sleeves of the gown matching blue but also see-through.

“I’ll wait for you downstairs with everyone else.” I say as I leave.

I was prepared to go through the whole safe sex talk. I know that makes me a little hypocritical as a Christian… but I think it’s better to have that conversation, but Genie’s pretty on fire for God… which I know we’re all prone to falling and sinning at times, but her heart desires what God wants for her life. At least I’m pretty sure, if her heart isn’t in that place, she is a GREAT actress.

In the foyer, Bobby lectures Oliver, Genie’s date, about when to be back and all the things father’s lecture their daughter’s date about. I picture Derek doing the same thing in like seven years when Julie goes to her first school dance. O my God! That’s only seven years away… I feel OLD. Okay, I’m only 26, but I have a 9-year-old! All my friends are just getting married and starting to have kids…

Xzavia, Bobby’s wife, has Albany on the home video-chat system. She’s away at college in Columbus, OH… That’s so far away from us, but we’ll see her at Christmas.

I purposely step in the line of sight to steal the attention.

Albany: Savvy!

Me: Hey Al!

Albany: I miss you.

Me: I miss you more! I can’t wait for Christmas… why aren’t you coming home for Thanksgiving again?

Albany: I’m going to spend it with Philip’s family. They’re right here in town.

Me: Aw… I forgot you have a serious boyfriend. Stop growing up! Just stop!!!

Albany: Whatever! You can take it.

Me: No, I can’t… (I get all teary-eyed.)

Albany: Are you crying? Are you finally pregnant again?

Me: Did Genie tell you about her dream?

Albany: No, we were praying for our families in class last month and I had a vision of you having a boy. He looks like your dad, just a lighter version. His curls are so gorgeous. You’ll finally have a kid that looks like you.

Me: (Trying not to be offended I say🙂 Julie and Priscilla look like me! We have the same eyes and noses.

Albany: Whatever, your son is gorgeous! I can’t wait until you find out your pregnant.

Me: D and I are done having kids!

From the top of the stairs, Genie yells, “No, you’re not!”

Looking at Albany on the hand held  video-chat sphere, Xzavia comes to my rescue, “Stop pestering her. Prophecy can change according to obedience, are you sure you were released to share that with Savvy right now?”

Albany: (wincing from shame) Oops. Sorry Savvy. I love you.

Clearing her throat loudly and theatrically fake, Genie directs everyone’s attention to her. We applaud her and tell her how beautiful she is as she descends the stairs. She walks up to Oliver, who nervously tells her how pretty she is. He puts the red rose corsage he brought on her right wrist.

In front of the door, she stands locking elbows with Oliver. Oliver’s black bowl-cut hair is slicked with a lot of moose to stay in place. He wears a gray suit with a navy-blue bow tie and a burgundy dress shirt. They smile for photos. I don’t get why Genie died her beautiful blonde hair jet black, but she wanted a different look. I never pictured Genie dating a Native American, but they look cute together. I for sure thought she would date a Mexican with her love of Mexican culture.

I remember when she was tiny playing princess in Bobby’s living room! I can’t handle this!!!

After pictures, I swoop in and hug her not wanting to let her leave. I whisper in her ear, “Guard your heart…” She totally knows what I mean by that.

Derek is the youth pastor at church, that we all go to together, and he preached a sermon about sexuality and purity. He preached when we guard our hearts we’re holding dear all the promises of God, and when we trust God and follow in His precepts, when we receive God’s promises it gives glory to God and prevents us from damaging our souls or hurting others. He emphasized sex out of marriage compromises our relationship with God. Because we’re designed for marriage and only meant to have sex within marriage, doing it outside of marriage damages our heart, but within marriage sex ignites our hearts and helps us build healthy concepts of commitment, love, and intimacy. I wish I heard a sermon like that as a teenager… Even though Derek and I didn’t have sex until our wedding night, this night ten years ago, which was like 4 months after Julie was born… I think Derek and I would have just had a smoother first year of marriage, if we heard the message he preached on “Guarding Our Hearts” at Genie’s age…

“Can you let go now? I don’t want to show up after all the fun is over.” She says loudly.

I release her drying my tears on my sleeve.

“Oh, Happy Anniversary! Why are you hear and not with your husband?” Genie wonders.

“He had to work… we’re gonna celebrate next weekend. Thank you.”

Bobby embraces me on the left and Xzavia embraces me on the right, as we stand outside by the door and watch the young couple get in Oliver’s mustang and drive away to one of the best nights of their high school career.

“Belated Happy Anniversary”

Half awake I feel a warm light appear in front of my face. The smell of pine firewood hits my nose and I perk up suddenly opening my eyes. To my wonderful surprise, it’s Derek holding a new candle of my favorite sent to my nose. I look at the alarm clock and it’s 4:13 am. He must have just gotten in.

“Happy Anniversary… Have I told you lately… I love you so much.” He set the candle down on my night stand and kisses me.

He breaks away and goes to stand up, but I hold him by the head, “Are you coming to bed?”

“I’m all sweaty and musky from lifting packages all night. Don’t you want me to shower first?”

“You can shower afterwards.” I kiss him back.

He pulls away to gain clarity, “You mean I’m actually getting lucky tonight?”

“So, you don’t want to then?” I tease.

Quickly, he stands up and whips off his shirt and then leaps over me and lands on his side of the bed. His long locks cover his face like a curtain. I turn over and I hover his head. I wipe the hair out of his eyes, strand by strand. For a good while, we just smile and stare at each other. He doesn’t look that different than he did 10 years ago. He’s a little thicker. I remember after military school for two years he had a six pack but now it’s a pouch… I’m very grateful he isn’t going bald like his dad…

But beyond his looks, I’m so in love with who he is on the inside now. I love the man of God he is. I love the father he is to our girls. I love the type of son he is to his parents. The type of brother he is to his siblings and to mine. I love the kind of neighbor he is to everyone around us. I love how he treats me like I’m his queen, but he leads me like a king. I love him more than I did yesterday. And yesterday, I loved him a lot because he picked up an extra shift at work to earn more money for our family vacation next June.

He lifts his head to kiss me, but I back up.

“What? You changed your mind?”

“Genie, Albany, and Xzavia have had visions of us having another baby… and I know we can’t really afford that right now?”

“Well, I wasn’t planning on going unprotected tonight.”

Yeah, we’re that couple that still uses condemns… Birth control makes me sick… we tried many different kinds but I’m one of the women in the world that gets terribly sick under hormone manipulation… and neither one of us like the idea of getting fixed… I’m usually pretty good about tracking my ovulation and make sure we avoid making love on the days I ovulate to be extra safe, but I don’t know… I kind of want another baby.

“You don’t have to tonight… if you think we can manage the expenses as they come up…”

“Oh, we can handle anything together. Are you sure?”

“Yeah…” I say right as I kiss him.

“The AMAs”

Tyler Swipe, who some how transformed into a pop star after rising to fame as a teen country star, announces who the New Artist of the Year is, “Kaylie Johnson!”

Julie and Priscilla leap off the couch and start jumping radically all over the floor. Julie does a somersault in between the coffee table and the TV yelling, “SHE DID IT!”

“Aunt Kaylie won! Aunt Kaylie FREAKING WON!” Cillie shouts exuberantly.

I’m like crying… This is the moment she’s been working for the past ten years. She moved to Nashville after high school. She would call me after every rejection, every fallen-through deal, and every disappointment for encouragement and prayer. When she took the huge risk to transition from a Christian artist to a Secular artist, she got a lot of criticism from our circle of Christian friends. But last September, her album dropped and beat out some of the top artists in the country. Her single “Love & Freedom” still sits at number one. Her album is the most downloaded across all platforms. Over half the songs on her album have been featured on TV shows, and in films…

Kaylie wears a stunning red dress, he long hair in a fancy fishtail braid, with sparkles and jewels woven in. She hugs the songtress Tyler Swipe and accepts her AMA.

Crying joyfully, she wipes her tears, “O dear Jesus my Messiah… I don’t have any words… but… Thank you! Thank you God, thank you to my producers Lauren and Ed, to all the musicians who played on this album… thank you to Neill, my husband… I love you honey… Oh, and I have to thank my bestie- Savvy! I’m so grateful for this and I would not be hear today if I did not trust the path God sent me down. My glory is God’s glory. Oh- and thank you Julie and Cillie, your prayers got me through- now go to bed!”

The girls freak out they got mentioned on national TV.

God’s goodness can be overwhelmingly beautiful.

“Cash Moneymaker, Future NBA ALL-STAR”

“Let’s go defense!” I blare at the top of my lungs.

“Cash Money!” Trick hollers.

It’s nice that we’re all here. Derek, my girls, Bobby, Genie, and Xzavia, Netty, and Deshaun, and Arnie and Jessica. Trick too, my dad, who is the best. I still can’t bring myself to call him dad like Netty and Arnie, but he’s cool with me calling him Trick. So… after Julie was born, I did start writing him letters, but even after he got out of prison we didn’t connect until my grandma, his mom, got sick. Julie was five and Priscilla was three. Julie has always been close to my grandma since she was born, so over the last week of her life we camped out at the hospital and Julie bonded with my dad right away. I knew there was no way to avoid him anymore.

Cash takes after his dad. He has a beautiful set of curls and yet, he shaves them all off to sport a bald look… He’s so tall for 13… 6’0”! College scouts are already recruiting him. He plays varsity for the high school he’ll be attending next year as point guard. Last week an analyst on ESPN brought him up and says he’s the second coming of Kobe Bryant…

Watching him on the court dazzles us.

One-minute left in the 4th quarter, we’re down by two points, and the other team has the ball. Cash didn’t play most of the game because he hasn’t been listening to the coach. He’s in right now, because he’s the best player defensively and offensively. He’s also the number one stealer in the region right now.

Sure enough, Cash steals the ball from the opposite team’s point guard. He drives to the hoop. On his way up for a lay-up he gets fouled, but he still makes the basket. He makes the extra point putting the team ahead by one.

 The clock slowly whines down, between the fouls and the time outs and the free throw shots, from both sides.

Ten seconds to go, we’re down by two, our ball. Full court pressure after the ball gets passed in to Cash. Cash spins around his defenders and rushes to the top of the key at the three-point line, he pops his shot off and it goes in putting us up by one!!! Yes.

They put full court pressure on the other team and the clock runs out before they cross over to their side of the court. We WON!

The whole family high-fives and hugs as we cheer about the victory. Cash leaves his teammates to join in our family hug. We don’t care that he smells and is drenched in sweat. We put him in the center of us and smother him with love!

This is one portrait of family I never pictured. I wanted a close family like this my entire life, since I was a little girl. We are far from perfect. We fight a lot and get on each other nerves, but there’s no doubt any of us love each other. We are all alcohol and drug free. We spend every holiday together. We get together once a month and we take giant family vacations together. We attend the same church. We live in the same city, and whether we’re blood or not, because we’re family, we’re there for each other, no matter what… All things are possible with God.

And my nephew will make it to the NBA if my prayers have anything to with it!

As we release Cash to go back to his team, Trick announces, “Pizza on me at Mama’s EVERYBODY!”

Trick does really well financially. He wrote a book about his life and his conversion to Christ while he was prison. He goes around the world sharing his testimony and preaching the gospel. And last month he just sold his book’s rights to Pureflix so they can make a movie about his life. Makes me wonder if I should write a story about my life… no one would believe I’m not on drugs, not a smoker, and not an alcoholic. That I’m a teen mom that lives in upper-middle class with a Master’s Degree. That I’m married to my childhood sweetheart. That I survived rape, kept and raised my rapist’s baby, and put my rapist behind bars… No one would believe my story.

“I Miss You”

Ten years ago today, a time of tremendous gloom

I sat in your hospital room

I witnessed you rededicate your soul to the One

Who bled, died, and rose again for you- the Son

Messiah Jesus- our glorious savior

Who won your heart through a painful cross labor

I’m at peace knowing you’re in paradise

I can’t imagine the glory you know and the size

Of the smile on your face

In that wonderful place

I have so many unfulfilled wishes really

I wish you got to hold Julie and Cillie

I wish you were there when Derek and I said I do

I wish I could hold you and kiss you and tell you I love you

I don’t really remember telling you that

And even though you put me through a lot of crap

I’m so grateful we had that best time together

For your finale in life, that it was better

Than our ugly beginning

I know you know in life now I’m winning

But with all my blessings- it doesn’t change this fact

I MISS YOU. I MISS YOU. I MISS YOU.

“Truth Prevails”

I stare at the letter from Kurt. He got sentenced for 15 years but he’s up for parole due to good behavior. He claims to have found Christ and his letter is filled with a long-winded apology. He wants me to be a character witness for him at his hearing! I believe he’s changed, but I don’t want to help him get out sooner. He wants to meet Julie too.

Now, we’ve told Julie that Derek isn’t her birth father. We told her that Kurt was and that he wasn’t a very good man and he was in prison for something bad that he did. We did not tell her about the horrendous act that led to her conception. We’re waiting until she’s older and more mature to handle that reality. We’re not lying to her, we’re just withholding part of the truth.

For the past year, I’ve allowed Julie and Kurt to exchange letters, but Julie’s never expressed she wants to meet him. She’s never referred to Kurt as her father. She tells her best friend Stacey that Kurt her is sperm donor dad. She came up with that take all on her own, after she watched a PBS special about IVF and egg and sperm donating in America, and how laxed our restrictions are on how often people can donate their genetic material. She may be 9, but at times she’s like 30.

I don’t know what to do… I don’t think I can handle this right now. Christmas is coming up, Derek and I just found out we’re pregnant for a third time- I really don’t why I let my sisters manipulate me into this pregnancy, and I have the classrooms from hell this year!

God, what do I do?

GO.

I laugh.

Julie walks past me and sits down at the kitchen table, and she set her backpack on the tabletop. Cillie follows her lead and sits next to her. They pull their school iPads out and log in to start their homework.

I snap out of it and put the letter in the junk drawer.

“What do you both want for a snack, before dinner?”

“A peanut butter and banana sandwich.” Julie asks.

“That’s weird!” Cillie says sassily to her big sis. “I just want PB&J mommy,” in a sweet girl tone to me.

That was Kurt’s favorite snack…

“Have you ever had a peanut butter and banana sandwich, Julie?”

“No, but Daddy Kurt says it’s is favorite snack and he misses it.”

“How come Julie has two daddies and I just have one? Paulie has two daddies too, but they live together, but he doesn’t have a mommy… that must suck.”

“Cillie, watch your mouth.”

I try to process Julie calling Kurt dad and wanting to eat a snack like him as I gather the ingredients. It’s so much easier to talk about forgiveness and moving forward when you don’t have to face the person who hurt you… I mean, I know I don’t have to worry. He has to register as a sex offender and he can never be alone with Julie, but I can’t stop my heart from racing with panic…

DON’T BE AFRAID.

Yeah, I don’t have to be afraid.

“Ooo! There are beautiful angels surrounding you mommy!” Cillie exclaims. She’s a seer. She sees angels all the time and she’s been getting visions about her baby brother like crazy. She told us his name the other day, Rodney, which before then we couldn’t choose between that name or River for a boy and Delany or Laney for another girl. We’re very private when discussing baby names not revealing the name until the seven month, but with prophetic kids and family members you can’t keep anything secret.

“Yeah, mom, God sent His messengers to help you be okay with Daddy Kurt’s letter. So are you okay with going to see him?” Julie wonders…

The mail was in the house, waiting on the kitchen island counter when I got in the door… The girls came in after me and there’s no way Julie could know about the letter let alone know what it was about…

Okay God… I will go… I’ll speak on his behalf but God… just keep me sane and my girls safe…

Both my girls get up and race over to me. They hug me as I start crying.

“It’s okay mommy.” Cillie says.

“You don’t have to go if it’s too hard.” Julie says.

Laughter tickles our hearts and as I crouch low we just keep laughing in the Holy Ghost. They smother me in kisses on my cheeks. Then Julie hands me the kitchen hand towel to wipe my tears.

“I’m okay… How did I get blessed with the best girls?!”

“Because God is too good!” They shout in sync.

…Back to the Present…


“God is Too Good”

I want to write a poem but I can’t really settle on rhyme and meter… But just thinking about God’s goodness, blows my mind… I went to church with Derek and Kaylie last week and I learned why awful things happen to people.

We live in a fallen world and we all have free will, because God loves everyone unconditionally, He will not override anyone’s freewill. Unless we submit our will to pursue after His will, is when He’ll interfere in our affairs and impact the earth because He gave authority of the Earth to us.

When we have relationship with God and we live our lives for Him, we build the Kingdom on the Earth. Through loving people like He loves us is how we change our world and bring people to Him. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to listen and to trust Him and have faith everything we go through has a purpose that will make God’s Kingdom bigger. As believers we are one big family and our job is to add to the family God has designed and to build a home for God on the earth.

I have to forgive the jerk, Kurt- I have to forgive Kurt… Because Jesus died for all of us, he deserves forgiveness. I have no idea how I can forgive him… but I know with God… anything is possible.

I think last night I had like a vision of my future… Ten years from now… I don’t remember anything but the names of my kids… I think… nope… I don’t remember. I have immense peace! Whatever life throws at me, God is with me, and He will never leave me or forsake me!

Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.

And I must be this way because Netty’s been praying for me… probably Derek’s prayers too… And well Kaylie’s as well… who cares! Jesus is the best friend I’ve ever had… greater than Derek and Kaylie put together.

I don’t hate my life anymore. I’m sad my mother is dying. I’m sad I don’t know my dad. But I got this hope, knowing everything is going to get better. I have a purpose now. And that purpose is living life with God, after all He made humanity because He wanted to enjoy community with us (Rev. 4:11).

I think I’m going to write a book about my life… or at least blog about it… so if anyone suffered like I did or do… they know there’s real hope. Not the kind of hope where you wish for things to be better, but with hope that confidently knows something better is COMING!


Author’s Note

Originally, “Bussing It” was going to be 12 parts. But I cut it short, when I incorporated the flash-forward, I felt like it offered enough to showcase the direction Savvy was going to take with her life.

I was seriously thinking about Savvy putting her first child in adoption, but I decided against that. I felt like a stronger story of forgiveness prevailing that way. But I’m pro-adoption…

This story is the first Story Sunday where I have campaigned like crazy on social media and the first series where I was very adamant about being consistent. I only broke once by failing to post a part one week, but life happened and I didn’t plan enough to make up for it.

I’ve had this idea since 2012. There’s many different versions on my flash drives. The only part I used from those other versions are the characters and the stories that Savvy told her little sisters. In one version, I was going to have Savvy grow up to be a famous children’s author and I think based on this version, we can see she definitely followed some path of writing in life, but I left it very open-ended as to where that goes.

In all the other versions but this one, Savvy and Derek were going to break up and he was going to die in  a car accident and or a drug overdose. But I really fell in love with this idea of the two of them forever and never separating until death from a ripe old age.

Originally, she was going to be pregnant by Derek and not Kurt. Originally Kurt was really sweet and Bobby was the child molester, but somehow those roles changed and I’m okay with that.

As usual I have people getting saved in my story because salvation is the best and I love seeing the power of that even in a fictional context. I think I’ve used the power of conversion too much. For the next one, we’ll have a series with already saved people!

Thank you so much for reading this serious. If you loved reading it, feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy reading it!

If you have any questions for me, drop them in the comments section, and I will respond as soon as I can.

I know Disney uses the slogan “Dare to Dream”… and I don’t know how long they’ve been using that, but I thought of the for story title back in 2013/2014, and I feel like I came up with it first… but I have no proof and I very well could be wrong. But I dare you to dream and to never give up on your dream, you have that dream for a reason, and you are meant to fulfill it. God will show you how to do it the best way! And if God crushes your dream, he has something better in mind because He knows you the best!

Best regards,

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+Positively Unexpected – 8

…Christmas Continued…

Tasha held her breath. Waiting for Kingston to burst out in rage, to cuss her out, and to toss her out of the house into the cold because she just told him he wasn’t the father of the baby.

“Joseph wasn’t the father either…” Kingston whispered back. He winked at Tasha and told her, “I’d like to be the father, if you’ll let me.”

Stunned, Tasha just stood there. He wanted to pretend to be the father of her baby? Why???

Hope and John walked into the kitchen. John rushed to the stove as Hope went to the cabinets by the dishwasher. He got the food out of the oven as she got the plates and silverware.

“We weren’t sure when you’d be here.” Hope said.

“Good thing ham and all the fixings keep well in the stove on warm.” John said as he set a foil covered deep dish baking pan on the stove top.

Looking over his shoulder at Tasha, “Do you eat ham?”

Tasha was Jewish because of her mother, but her mother’s family was very reformed… and liberated from the law. Her maternal grandparents would be kosher for the holidays, but her mother loved bacon…

“Yes, I eat ham.”

Kingston took Tasha’s hand, “While the table is being set, I’m going to show Tasha something upstairs.”

John looked at Hope and they stared at each other wondering if that was okay for them to do.

“Okay,” Hope said keeping her eyes locked with her husband.

With a sprint in his gait, Kingston pulled Tasha along as he led her up the nearest staircase. Gently, he whisked her down the hall to a room on the very end. The room appeared to belong to a teenage boy.

“My parents want to turn my old room into the nursery. This would be their first grandchild, so they want the baby to have somewhere to sleep when we need a break. And this room over time will just become the child’s room.”

“Your sister doesn’t have children?” Tasha wondered.

“Ah… no…” He said releasing her hand as he walked to the center of his room. He explained Genesis had ovarian cancer when she was in college. She survived without being able to keep her ovaries. Due to her medical history of cancer she wasn’t eligible to adopt from the state or from anywhere overseas.

So Tasha still didn’t understand his logic. Logos was still single and had plenty of time to become a father one day… And as sad as it was Genesis would never be a mother, why did Kingston want to pretend to be the father to Tasha’s unborn kid?

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be the son my parents pray for me to be…” He went on to say, after the day they went to the clinic together, he started to do the math. He knew women were two weeks pregnant at conception, due to his mother’s work with NYSAPP. When the nurse practitioner said Tasha was eight weeks and the fact they were together about five weeks prior to that point, the nurse would have said Tasha was seven weeks along not eight if he was the father.

The night before Thanksgiving Day, Giles was delivered the photos by currier. Giles wasn’t so much upset with Kingston for being with a woman, but the continued infidelity. Giles wanted commitment, marriage, kids, and a life together. Kingston couldn’t do that no matter how hard he tried. He loved Giles but he wasn’t at peace marrying him.

“I know it’s crazy to think like this… but I’m just afraid if I marry the man I love I’ll officially be alone…” Kingston made a paradoxical statement, but Tasha suspected his reason was religious. She waited in the stale silence for his explanation.

He cleared his throat and took Tasha’s hands as he led her to sit down on the edge of his twin bed with superhero bedding.

“As a boy, no one could tell me God wasn’t real. But then I started getting dreams about kissing boys… My first crush was on a boy…” Nervously, he began to pick at the loose skin around his thumb cuticle. “I wasn’t ever molested which is what most Christians think cause homosexuality… And my dad was the best dad ever…” Pausing, he ran his fingers through his hair, then rested his drooping forehead into the palm of his hand, as the elbow to that hand rested on his knee. “I did everything I could as a teenager. I kissed girl after girl. I went on dates. I lost my virginity to an older girl. Though it bothered me to sin, I thought having sex before I was married wasn’t as bad as being gay…”

Kingston said the Bible was clear. Sin was sin to God, but in the church, Christians considered some sins more forgivable than others. Homosexuality was a sin a person had to be totally delivered from to be totally forgiven, and total deliverance meant getting married in the one-man-one-woman-way.

When he came out in college, his church friends deserted him, and his home church excommunicated him. He had to find a reconciled church, which didn’t have the same teachings he grew up with. The sermons always made him feel good about himself and encouraged him to do good things, but the way the messages portrayed God presented a God that didn’t make any sense to Kingston. He stopped going to church because he couldn’t handle the inner turmoil. If God was the God he was raised to believe in, Kingston wasn’t getting into heaven, and if God was the God that the reconciled church preached about, Kingston would be better off following the devil.

At first, he felt free being away from the church, but then he just got depressed. His battle with anxiety got far worse than it was in high school and he needed to be on medication for it. When Giles went pro and asked for Kingston to move in with him, Kingston decided to live like there really wasn’t One God, and it worked.

But after six months of living together, Giles asked Kingston to marry him and immediately Kingston felt grieved by the thought and he didn’t know why. He asked if he could wait to give his answer. That’s when Kingston became unfaithful, and it was with a woman. He started telling himself he wasn’t really gay. That he had what it took to be with a woman. But then Kingston would suffer anxiety attack after anxiety attack with awful thoughts of suicide, and every time Giles pulled him out from the darkness, even forgiving him after Kingston’s adultery came to light.

And even this last time with cheating on Giles with Tasha, Giles had a plan… Giles was going to pay the photographer a bunch of money not to leak the photos. Giles wanted to pay Tasha off to say she was their surrogate and take custody of the child. All Kingston had to do was run away and elope with Giles.

With his face flushed red and tears dripping from his eyes, Kingston confessed to Tasha, “I told him I didn’t want to go to hell if God was real and that if I married him, there’d be no going back…” Kingston used his knuckles to wipe the tears from his eyes.

Tasha put her hand on his knee hoping to comfort him.

“He turned into a maniac. He called me awful things. He said horrible things about my family saying I listened to their organized-religion-brain-washing. He got so angry I thought he was going to kick me out, but he packed his things and left…”

That was the first time Giles left him. It was always Kingston breaking up with Giles because of the burden of guilt from his infidelity. But that was the first time Kingston was honest with Giles. In the past, he just told Giles he wasn’t ready to settle down yet.

“I didn’t want to live without him… I didn’t think I could…” He sniffled as he wiped his nose with his fingers. “I found every prescription pill in the place, poured them in a pile, and popped them one by one.”

Softly, he cupped Tasha’s face and caressed her cheeks with his thumbs, brushing them down and up continuously, “Then I thought of you and the baby and what the world would be thinking when those photos got out… And I didn’t want to leave you in a world of mess…”

“Your mom said you called 911 because of the baby.” Tasha said moving her head back out his hands’ embrace.

“I can’t remember why I really called 911.” He said standing up, “I just know that I want to have this baby with you and I know I can’t tell you what to do…”

“Look, I grew up in a divorced home, being split between two households… And I wouldn’t wish that on any kid.”

“We could live together. We don’t have to get married or ever be together like that.”

“What would happen if I do enter a relationship or you do?” Tasha questioned.

“Change happens, we’ll deal with it as that comes…”

“And I don’t follow any religion and I don’t believe imposing religion on any child.”

“Everyone believes in something and in the end, we’re all free to choose. Everyone in my family believes in God.”

“And because of that you lost the love of your life and nearly killed yourself…”

“If my family is wrong, it won’t matter when they die, but if I’m wrong, it will matter…”

Tasha never thought of it like that… She didn’t believe in a god. She didn’t believe in reincarnation. She was convinced nothing happened when everyone died. But what if hell was real and her failure to believe in God would put her there. She didn’t understand how a loving God could put someone in hell, an eternal furnace of torment, but maybe Kingston’s family could explain that.

“I don’t think I want to be a mom… I don’t know how to be one…” Tasha said with tears in her eyes.

Kingston kneeled at her feet, “I have no idea how to be a dad…”

The spirit of laughter hit both of them simultaneously and they laughed ridiculously.

Logos came into the room without asking, “Dinner is served,” he said. “What’s so funny?” He wondered.

Kingston took Tasha’s hand as he rose. He helped Tasha onto her feet. The two kept laughing as Kingston led Tasha out of his room.

Following behind them, Logos asked again, “What’s so funny?”

…New Year’s Eve… About a Year Later…

Tasha stood outdoors on the studio platform, bundled up in the freezing cold. The ball was about to drop in Time Square and she had to kill air time with her co-host until the next musical guest was ready to sing, down below, on the stage set up for the crowd in the square.

“Hadassah… That’s such a unique name…” Bryan, Tasha’s co-host, said.

“Yeah, Bible names aren’t so popular anymore.”

“How did you and Kingston decide on that name?”

Tasha smiled really big thinking about how to state the truth in the least offensive way. “We prayed about it and that’s the name we got afterwards.”

 “Oh… I didn’t know you were spiritual. That’s beautiful… Well, um do you think Hadassah is fast asleep at home while you’re here to usher in the new year?”

“No… she never sleeps, but she’s not my problem tonight. She’s with her grandparents.”

“Your parents or Kingston’s?”

“Kingston’s…”

The floor director holds up his tablet which reads: Throw to the musical act: SLOPE.

“They love it too though, she is their first grandchild. Bryan, I don’t know about you, but I love our next musical guest!”

“Yes! Here’s Slope everyone!!!” Bryan shouted flamboyantly.

The minute the floor director cleared them, Tasha checked her microphone was off, and then she got in Bryan’s face.

“Stop putting all of my personal business out there. How would you like someone to do that to you?”

“I’m not the one who turned a gay man straight by having a baby with him. You must be some miracle-worker. How about we take five in the outhouse? I think I might want my third baby with you.”

“You need to really work on your insults…”

“I know you have poor gay-dar but in case you didn’t know, Kingston was never gay completely. He couldn’t have been if he left Giles Bordner for you.”

“We’re back in two,” the floor director said.

Both Tasha and Bryan got quiet quick knowing their mics were hot and could pick up every slight sound. They waited and read the directions on prompter. Tasha was to speak first. She was cued to mention Kingston. Views went up when things got tense talking about Tasha’s home life.

“We’re just about to usher in the New Year, and I’m little sad I’m other half isn’t here to share a kiss. Kingston, if you’re watching, I love you.”

“Awe… how cute? Todd, my boo, I love you too.” Bryan added.

The crew suddenly parted like the Red Sea and Kingston appeared holding sixth-month-old, Hadassah. Tasha wanted to gasp outraged but with the cameras were recording live around the world she made sure she was excited as she could possibly be.

“O my goodness!”

“O my Buddha!” Bryan gasped mimicking Tasha’s surprised expression.

Kingston stood in between the co-hosts. Tasha didn’t hesitate to take control of her daughter and place Hadassah within her own arms. Swaying side to side, which was the best way to keep the baby calm, Tasha mentally prepared to handle the line of questioning about Kingston’s sexuality.

“Kingston, not to put your business out there… but what is it like being married… to a woman…?”

“Well, I’ve never been married before Tasha,” he put his arm around her and reeled her closer to him, “I’ve never been in love with someone as much as I am in love with this woman. Being married is wonderful.”

“How come you never settled down with Giles? Didn’t he propose like three times?” Bryan badgered on.

“I wasn’t ready… and I never planned on ever marrying Tasha… but after Hadassah was born we grew closer spending so much time together, and in this positively unexpected way, I fell in love with her. And due to our newfound faith, we knew the best way to be together was through marriage.”

“Wow…” Bryan didn’t know what to say. If he said anything offensive about Tasha’s and Kingston’s faith, they could sue him for persecution. “BEAUTIFUL!”

“IT’S TIME FOR THE COUNTDOWN,” Tasha and Bryan said in unison as cued by the prompter.

They counted down from 10, when the 0 appeared, the ball dropped. Kingston kissed his bride of two months and their kiss had that same spark it did on their wedding day. The kiss was not the same as their first time. Simply because Kingston wasn’t the same man, because of his restored faith in God, he was a truly changed man.


Note from the Author:

Believe it or not, I always planned on putting Kingston with Tasha, but I originally wanted to take more time so you could see how they fell in love, how believing in God slowly transformed them into new creatures as scripture talks about.

I believe homosexuality is a bondage. Just like a liar, a fornicator, or anyone that is sinning is an enemy of God and will not make into eternity to dwell with God. I do believe Jesus delivers and saves and in Him freedom can be found. I say give Jesus the Messiah a chance and pray to God in His name, and I believe you will encounter the liberating love of the Father and comfort of the Holy Spirit, but you have to choose to do that.


Only one more repost left! Catch it next week!


 

“Dinner 38”

              Netty firmly believes the family that dines together, stays together. Eating dinner at the table isn’t up for debate and absences from dinner is only excusable when sick, out of town, at work, or invited to someone else’s house for dinner. I’ve been to 37 dinners since living with Netty and Deshaun. Tonight makes the 38th dining experience.

              “At the next visit, we’ll know the sex of the baby. We should have been able to find out today, but the technician couldn’t get a clear view… but everything else looks really good.” Netty says passing Deshaun the serving bowl of sautéed green beans.

              Dishing out a hearty scoop onto his light blue plate, Netty’s favorite set of dishware, Deshaun asks me, “What do you want, a boy or a girl?”

              I hate that question. I hate that I’m pregnant. I hate that I dream about having a little girl and treating her like precious gold. I hate that I’m afraid she’ll look exactly like the jerk and I’ll detest her existence and treat her like the scum of the earth.

              “A boy.” I lie.

              “Really?” Netty seems surprised.

              “A boy, you want a little D running around?” Deshuan hands me the bowl of green beans.

              The whiff of the veggies makes me super nauseous. Normally, I love veggies, but lately I only want wings and rice. I take a little bit because Netty will lecture me about how bad it is to eating according to cravings and not a well-balanced diet.

              “I just want a healthy baby.” I say honestly. “Maybe, we shouldn’t bother finding out the sex. Letting it be a surprise could be fun.”

              Netty nearly choked on her meatloaf at that thought. Netty plans everything to a tee. Knowing the gender will help plan for the baby shower, how to decorate the nursery, and how to pray for the kid’s destiny. Gulping her food, she says, “Well, if that’s what you want… okay…”

              That must be the opposite of how she feels on the inside.

              “What does D want, huh?” Deshaun wonders.

              “Um…” I can’t lie about this one. Netty confronted me in the car, on our way home from the doctor’s visit, asking me if I told Derek yet. I told her the truth, that I didn’t. I almost broke down and told her about the jerk, but I can’t. “I don’t know.” I shrug my shoulders.

              Deshaun chuckles when he concludes Derek knows nothing about the baby. He sighs as he bites the food off his fork. Though his mouth is closed, we can hear him smack his food as he chews. It’s super annoying. The baby flutters and kicks me as I eat the meatloaf. This baby is a total carnivore.

              Deshaun takes a swig of his beer from the green bottle. He sets his beer down on the table and after he swishes his gulp down, he asks me, “You plan on raising this baby on your own?”

              “I don’t even know if I want the baby, so I until I know what I want to do, I don’t see the point in telling him.”

              “He’s the father, he should know about his child.”

              “D’s no more ready to be a father than I’m ready to be a mother.”

              “You should have thought about that before being careless and getting knocked up.” Deshaun snaps.

              Crying, unable to hold them back, I plea, “May I be excused.” I wipe my suddenly runny nose.

              “You need to finish eating.” Netty mothers me.

              “I’m done. I feel sick anyhow.” Guilt like a brick hits me. I’m a horrible sister for lying to Netty and Deshaun. I’m a terrible girlfriend from hiding this pregnancy from Derek. I’m an awful person. “May I be excused please.”

              “Yes, you may.” Netty says.

              I wish I could just leave my dishes behind, but that isn’t earning my keep.

              While I rinse my plate in the kitchen, I overhear Deshaun rant how unfair I’m being to Derek. Netty defends me a little bit, but she backs off the more heated Deshaun gets.

              In my room, I lie on my side, like a good pregnant woman, and I wish I just knew what to do. I wish I could stop crying, but I can’t.

“Post Trevor”

Kaylie’s been a doll. To spare me from the horrors of bus travel as a pregnant woman. She picks me up whenever. I text her my location and she pops up there as soon as she can get there.

I’m surprised at how well she’s coping. She broke up with Trevor before she miscarried, but I really thought she would go running back to him after she lost the baby, but that’s not the case. I also thought she’d be in utter despair. Netty confessed to me the other night she’s had two miscarriages and she still grieves the losses. However, Kaylie’s thriving in school. Her dark brown hair chases her crimson hair away as time goes on. She brings her guitar to school and plays in the park before and after school. In Social Studies when we talk about politics she boldly tackles the topic arguing from a biblical viewpoint.

I sort of have no idea what happened to my second best friend. She continues to be a different person. When she smiles, it doesn’t seem fake. When she sings, her voice brings a peace. When she laughs, she makes me laugh.

In class and in the hallways, when Trevor tries to talk to her, she kindly says she doesn’t want to talk to him. But when we’re alone, she says nothing bad about him. She wishes nothing bad upon him. Kaylie has become a saint. Kaylie’s life post Trevor is great!

I wonder, would I fair in life so well post Derek?

“GPAs”

College GPA: 3.9

College Algebra: A-

College Writing I: A

High School, Junior Year GPA: 3.89

“FaceTime w/ Derek”

DEREK’S long locks are gone. He sports a clean cut, close fade. He looks well.

Derek: I miss you so much babe.

Savvy: I miss you too.

Though SAVVY is burning up under a pile of covers, she makes sure to hide her bulging belly.

Derek: So my mom picked up a lot of extra shifts, because a lot of nurses took the holiday off, so… she isn’t coming out for Christmas after all.

Savvy: That sucks hon, I’m sorry to hear that.

Derek: No, this may be a good thing. Maybe my dad will let me go visit my mom and then I can see you.

Panicking, SAVVY blurts-

Savvy: NO!

Derek: (confused) No?

Savvy: Like I miss you like crazy. I really do. But you look really good… I can’t really remember the last time you looked so good, so happy…

Bashfully, DEREK smiles as his cheeks flush red.

Derek: I am happy. I’m really happy. Do you know why?

Savvy: Why?

SAVVY waited for him to be romantic and to say something along the lines of seeing her face, but what he said surprised her and made her angry.

Derek: Jesus the Messiah.

Savvy: (rolling her eyes) Really?

Derek: Yeah, like um, last week, before I got released for Winter Break… in our last chapel service I accepted Christ Jesus and invited Him into my heart… Like I have no doubts anymore God is real.  I don’t have nightmares anymore. I don’t want to get high anymore… and um… (whispering) I don’t think about sex all the time or look at porn anymore. (Returning to normal volume) And I don’t feel alone anymore… I have this peace constantly that doesn’t make sense. God is SO AWESOME.

Savvy: I’m happy for you… I’m happy that you’re doing so well.

Derek: Why don’t you believe in God?

Savvy: What?

Derek: I mean, do you believe in God, like Netty does?

Savvy: No. I don’t but I haven’t really bothered to study religion.

Derek: But knowing God isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus.

Savvy:  I kind of don’t feel like the preaching right now and if that’s all you want to talk about, maybe we should just talk another time.

Derek: So you’re going to ask me to not talk about something important to me because it makes you uncomfortable. I asked you a question just trying to learn more about you so maybe I can help you and you want to avoid it…

Savvy: You want to know why I don’t believe in God?

Derek: Yeah, why?

SAVVY pushes off her heavy blankets and points the phone at her stomach as she pulls up her flannel shirt.

Savvy: Because I got fluffing raped by my mother’s boyfriend and I’m stuck having the jerk’s kid. (Pointing the phone at her cigarette burns on the upper part of her abdomen) Because my mother abused the crap out of me. (Crying, and yelling, she holds the phone back up to her face) Because you got taken away from me, the one good thing in my life and now there’s more than a physical distance between us. It’s like I’m not important to you anymore. I don’t believe in God because I have nothing good going in my life and I haven’t really seen anything to convince there’s such a thing as a good God because life sucks. I wish we had fluffed and I wish I was pregnant with your baby, because at least I would be excited about this and maybe I would have you back in my life and maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t feel like dying. Like I hope I die giving birth because I don’t want to live anymore, but I can’t kill myself, because I don’t want my mother to have the satisfaction of getting rid of me nor due I want my sisters to miss me… and truth be told I’m scared as SNIFF of death because I can’t help but think you and Netty might be right, God is real and because I HATE HIM SO MUCH FOR MY CRUMMY LIFE I’LL GET STUCK IN HELL. This life is hell enough. I don’t want to live forever in hell, but if God is real He better do one good thing for me. I don’t know what that is… but it better be something fluffing good. And you know what, I get enough God Talk living with Netty, so I don’t want to talk to you until we can just be ourselves and talk and if you can’t be the new you without Jesus Fluffing Christ, than I don’t want to talk to you. GOODBYE Butthole!

SAVVY hangs up the phone and throws it on the bed. It bounces off and falls to the ground. Fortunately, she didn’t crack the screen of the caseless phone.

Positively Unexpected-4

…Waiting…

AFTER the DNA samples were taken for the paternity test, Kingston and Tasha were told the results would be in 5 to 10 business days upon arrival to the lab. They went to the clinic on Friday…

Since they left the clinic, Kingston hadn’t made contact with Tasha, which she understood. Giles was back in town and New York’s favorite Major League Baseball couple had many galas and events to attend being the holiday season.

On Monday, she interviewed Blaire Sage, the famous church girl gone wild, seeing that her father was the preacher of one of the largest churches in America. In Tasha’s opinion, Blaire hadn’t gone wild, she simply chose a career in a secular market and not ministry and the church had criticized her and ostracized her for it.

Much of her songs were about love, not about lust. And she proudly proclaimed each love song was about a deeper level of love she had been privileged to love her husband. Other songs on her albums were about life’s ups and downs and when she wasn’t making music or touring, she and her husband checked up on the orphanage they started in China and they also go on other mission trips.

Seeing that the Deets was a savage show seeking the latest gossip, Tasha interrogated her about Blaire’s cousin, Paisley Adamsen, who had a child out of wedlock about eight years ago at the age of 19. The father of the child went to jail for aggravated sexual assault, but rumors were floating around that Paisley lied in order to protect her family’s ministry.

The Deets never needed the interviewee to say anything about the chatter on the rumor mill, they just needed a facial expression that would create a cluttered buzz on every social media outlet. Blaire’s face was filled with panic and her eyes cut away from Tasha’s. The songtress struggled what to say fumbling for her muffled words under her breath. Finally she stated, “The truth can never stay concealed, if that were true, I find it hard to believe my cousin would go along with that.”

On Tuesday, Tasha sat at her desk from 5 am to 1 am the next day looking for enough stories to cover for the next two weeks.

On Wednesday, the studio had an early Thanksgiving meal catered to serve as a friendly potluck.

On Turkey Day, that’s when everything got interesting…

Against her better judgement, Tasha went to her father’s for dinner to avoid her mother. Maybe she freaked out being around the woman that gave birth to her while she was pregnant. Like, an experienced pregnant woman can detect a newbie pregnant woman a mile away, right? Like the woman’s baby-senses get all tingly and go off, right? Maybe not… Tasha had no clue she just knew the thought of being around her mother stressed her out.

Regardless, Tasha liked her odds with Dad and Jenny over Mom and Pat.

Everything was going fine. Tasha only could stand to drink half a glass of wine before she grew queasy and so far, the bird and dressing was staying down the shoot. Foolishly though, she made the grave mistake and  she offered to help Jenny clean up in the kitchen.

Tasha’s father had plenty of wealth to hire help like a maid to tidy the dishes, but Jenny found cleaning to be therapeutic and refused to have a maid and a nanny. Instead, she preferred housekeeping over being a typical high society trophy wife. It was Jenny’s dream since grade school to do the House-Wife-Thing-In-Jersey, even though her inheritance as heiress for the King of Apps for Mobile Devices was enough to set her up for life three times.

Jenny washed the dishes, yes, she washed every dish by hand from the sink, while Tasha dried the dishes to stack them in the dishwasher so everything could be disinfected.

Just barley starting the dishes, while the rest of the family and guests enjoyed the football game, Jenny tried to reconnect with Tasha, “How is Carter?”

“I wouldn’t know…”

Jenny left her hands submerged in the sudsy water as she tilted her head toward Tasha and raised her brow, “When did you two break up?”

“We were never together. It was just causal.”

“Well, your father and I were casual until I got pregnant with Humphrey.” Jenny shined a plate sparkling clean with her sponge. She handed that plate to Tasha to rinse and dry.

“Please, stop talking now before you make me sick.” Tasha sighed as she stacked the rinsed plate into the dishwasher.

“I’ve never seen you go ham on turkey like you did today. Are you sure you’re not carrying Carter Jr.?”

Tasha froze as a rush of nerves shot panic straight to her heart. She knew it was dumb to spend the holiday with anyone who once was in the state she was in now… Her trips to the bathroom have been minimal… How could her pregnancy be so obvious?

“JK,” Jenny laughed clumping a bust of suds into her palm and then she flung the suds at Tasha.

The foamy white bubble suds fluttered to land on top of Tasha’s hair all pinned up in a bun. Much of Tasha wanted to flick water back at Jenny from the running faucet on the empty side of the sink, but that would be like the old days… and no matter how much Tasha has tried to rekindle her life long friendship with Jenny, their bond cannot recover from Tasha’s best friend marrying her father. And Jenny marrying a man approximately the same age as her father wasn’t so bad, but she was Tasha’s father’s mistress while he was married to Lucille, Tasha loved her stepmother more than her actual mother. But what really stung, was that everyone knew about the affair but Lucille, for she passed away before Tasha’s father and Jenny went public.

Jenny’s father, Dean, was ticked and stopped communication with Tasha’s father, Tanner, unless business manners meant the men must talk. Dean may be an app genius, but Tanner is the grandson of a ranching TV mogul and many of Dean’s apps flourish through a deep pocket partnership with a huge subsidiary of a major monopoly telecom company. Tanner’s grandfather sold the subsidiary in his retirement years, but Tanner Turner,managed to buy the TV incorporation back and created another monopoly telepictures company.

Tanner, however, could not buy back the famous news station that was the first to constantly broadcast and now streamed nothing but news. Ironically, that news broadcast company’s parent company canned Tasha Turner when she got sued for defamation, because of a story she spun that her bosses knew was more gossip than fact.

The ladies cleaned side by side only talking to communicate how to pick up the table or where to put away the silver. In under an hour, they picked up the dinning area, cleaned the dishes from dinner, and got the coffee, tea, and dessert ready for roughly 20 people.

To bring Dessert Time to everyone, Tasha helped Jenny place items in the silver three tier trolley cart. Tasha set things in place on the cart and Jenny handed Tasha the items to be set in order.

For seven years, Jenny has publicly been with Tanner, Tasha’s father. For six and half years, Jenny hand been the third Mrs. Turner. For just over six years, Jenny has been the mother of Tasha’s only sibling. Tasha and Jenny may have been best friends since private school in Pre-K, but clearly they lacked something because a true friend would never betray Tasha in such a way.

Handing Tasha a stack of small plates, Jenny asked, “If we can’t go back to the way we were can we at least get to some place new to get a fresh start?”

Taking the plates gently, Tasha rolled her eyes and pointed out, “For seven years we’ve been trying….” she went on to question, “If you were me, could you?”

Remorsefully, Jenny averted her gaze and turned her back to Tasha. Tasha knew leaving things with that rhetorical question was enough to guilt trip her oldest and once dearest friend. Somehow, Tasha was thirsty to see Jenny suffer, therefore, she decided to lay it all out.

Crossing her arms, Tasha stood behind Jenny and leaned into her ear, “How would you like having a father who barely remembers you exist? When my parents were married, he never spent the holidays with us, and my mom flew us off somewhere for her to have a shopping spree extravaganza. Then, your parents get divorced and you find out you get to have two Christmases, and they actually turn into zero Christmases because your mom figures you’re old enough to be left alone and when you go to your dad’s there’s a nanny standing by the Christmas tree because daddy and his new wife are off on a beach somewhere avoiding the cold…”

Tasha went on about how eventually her father began to cheat on Lucille and neglect her too like he had her mother and Tasha herself. But unlike Tasha’s own mother shopping away her pain, Lucille spent time with Tasha and took an interest in her. Then, Lucille got deathly sick… Tanner Turner once again was nowhere to be found, but there was plenty of evidence he was cheating on a dying woman…

“You announce you’re pregnant and marrying my father three weeks after Lucille’s funeral and you have the audacity to joke about getting pregnant on purpose to trap a guy to break the ice?!”

Jenny turned around as she backed away from Tasha. A little teary-eyed, Jenny wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.

“To make everything worse, since Humphrey was born my father takes every holiday off to spend it with the son he always wanted. Right now, they’re watching television together, building a precious memory that I can’t recall even having one like it.” Tasha complained.

“Oh yeah,” Jenny raised her voice, “You act all jaded like you’re the only spoiled heiress who never got daddy’s attention!” Jenny suddenly back-kicked her bottom black kitchen cabinet with the heel of her boot.

Tasha jumped a little fretful over that bipolar-like reaction.  She stepped behind the cart to serve as a potential weapon incase Jenny lunged for her. Not that Jenny would ever physically harm Tasha. And Jenny was definitely not bipolar to Tasha’s knowledge.

Crying as her face flushed red and the vein in her forehead bulged, Jenny shared her side… “I know what it’s like being ignored by my father too. Growing up DJ got all the attention. DJ got to go to the office with dad, DJ got to go on special trips, and DJ was taught the keys to the app-making kingdom. How many people create a network of apps dependent on one another to fully enjoy the features by the user. Only brand cellphone makers were known for doing so beforehand. I may stay at home and bake cookies all day but I graduated from MIT for God’s sake!”

“Clearly you have daddy issues, but you could have found any other older man but my dad!”

“No I couldn’t!”

“Yes you could have, there are plenty of dirty old men out there. How would you like it-,”

“It’s called love Tash, GOSH! I fell in love with your father over my summer internship. And lower your voice before we become screaming chicks in a cat fight.” Jenny combed her ginger stranglers of hair out of her face and rubbed the back of her neck. Taking a deep breath Jenny stepped closer to Tasha, which made Tasha roll the cart forward to keep Jenny back.

Jenny leaned over the surface tier of the cart and whispered loudly, “I really was just joking. I wanted Humphrey when I got pregnant but I didn’t get pregnant on purpose. Being pregnant one day and then not pregnant the next day… well… sucks…”

Seeing Jenny struck with sorrow made Tasha pull the cart back. On behalf of a shred of compassion, Tasha moved toward her friend, but she could not bring herself to embrace Jenny for comfort.

“What do you mean by that? Did you have a miscarriage or something?”

Shaking her head, “No… It was intentional, three times…”

Okay… maybe they weren’t best friends like she thought. Who hides three abortions from their best friend?

Jenny went on to explain she had one in high school. Smith Wilson, her high school beau helped her through that one. In college, she wasn’t sure who the father was due to a wild night at a crazy French Court styled party. From the shame of that alone she bared that by herself. The most recent one was last summer. Jenny and Tasha’s dad found out the child she was carrying was highly at risk for down syndrome, they both agreed they didn’t want to subject a child to such a difficult life.

Tasha didn’t know what to say. But now Jenny was further made a stranger in Tasha’s eyes than she was before this confrontation.

“What are you going to do?”

Tasha was done. She wasn’t going to stand in her father’s home and let another 31-year-old woman mother her. Immediately, Tasha held her tongue and fumed with rage deep inside as she headed for the door to leave. Jenny hurried after her, begging Tasha to sort things out with her. Tasha was set in her lane when the commentators, during the Half Time Show, dropped Kingston Rourke’s name when she entered the living room. The wall has a built-in screen that dissolved when not being viewed and looked like an average wall.

Kingston was about six years younger than Tasha. In college, he played football, but decided not to go pro because the football community didn’t embrace the LBGTQ community as well as the baseball community did, plus… with Giles going pro Kingston didn’t need his own career in football.

Rex Hollinger, an alumnus of the same alma mater as Kingston, and happened to be a retired QB for New York City’s best team, who everyone thought Kingston would have replaced had he gone pro, was a guest commentator.

Rex and another ex-football player, Tank Burke, and analyst Shanna Wright sat in the advanced studio with mainly interactive green screens with hologram integration interfaces— but to viewers it looked super stellar and had rich realistic looking content and the commentators controlled it all with the flicks of their fingers and programed body gestures.

“I can’t believe it about Kingston Rourke. I know all of New York City is sending positive thoughts and vibes up to him and his family right now. Those who pray, I’m sure are lifting him up in prayer to the universe and the powers at be.” Rex stated.

Tasha rushed to the foyer and dug through the closet to pull out her cellphone, which she stupidly kept tucked in her purse. A gazillion messages from her boss exploded on her lock screen and trending on every social media outlet and gossip news feed was the same information. Kingston Rourke attempted to take his own life.

TO BE CONTINUED…


Yeah… Can you tell I grew up watching Daytime Soap Operas?

How could Jenny and Tanner abort a child that might be born with Down Syndrome?

Did you know in Iceland, the passed a law to abort babies that would be born with Down Syndrome? If any country needs revival, it is that one! They’re a huge humanist nation and big on self-awareness. They essentially are gods of their own lives.

But aborting pregnancies due to possible deformities rapidly increases. In many places across America, such abortions can be made up until 23 weeks pregnant. I know it’s like that in California…

My facts are not sought out myself. I learned about Iceland from USA Today, a political activist, and Twitter. The fact about America, I got from the remake of “90210” and an indie movie called “23 Weeks”.

I have know three women, whose parents were told to abort them in the womb because they would be born with Down Syndrome, but their parents were believers in Jesus the Messiah and trusted Him to do a miracle on their behalf. All three women were born normal at birth and healthy. If God is not a miracle-working-God, then what is He?

All life is valuable and whatever genetics or life throws at us, God leads us through and He uses our pain, our struggle to impact someone else’s life and lead them to undergo an extraordinary life with God.

Suicide is also no joke. Every person is important and anyone with suicidal thoughts should reach out. You may feel alone, but the reality is that you’re not!


Comment below your thoughts. Feel free to include questions. If you want to share, I would love the support. Also, are you a blogger, YouTuber, author, actor, singer, entrepreneur- something I didn’t mention- post a link in the comments and I may follow you! (I have to make sure we Gucci w/ G-O-D, and that doesn’t mean you have to be a Christian… but I censor my own content… I really don’t want to see anything obscene, but I also watch things like The Handmaid’s Tale on hulu… so… I just have to decide if I can be in your corner, just like you freely decided to be in mine!)

Much love,

7ff3d5f1-fe02-465d-8a77-da682894d7e6

“Family”

My family is fluffed up. My Aunt Betty had her son, Arnold Patrick Moneymaker, at the age of 16. Arnold’s father, Patrick was 18, but in the state of Arizona it wasn’t illegal for them to be together. Jewel was 9 at the time. A few years later, Aunt Betty had Annette Devlin Moneymaker, at the age of 19.

Aunt Betty and Jewel had really, scary religious parents- Catholic I think… and very racist… because Patrick was half black, he was not good enough to be with their daughter… When Aunt Betty got pregnant, they kicked her out of the house. Patrick played the good guy, he married Aunt Betty and they got a one-bedroom apartment…

Arnie was 6 going on 7, Netty was 3, and Jewel did something monumentally stupid. She seduced her brother-in-law and conceived me at the age of 15, but that ugly truth didn’t come out until I was like 2, when Aunt Betty and Patrick got divorced and he shacked up with Jewel for a bit.

I don’t call him dad. I call him Trick… all three of us do… He is currently serving time for smuggling drugs and weapons across the border. I have no idea when he’s getting out. Occasionally, he writes me a letter. I never read them. He left Jewel when I was 4, and I barley saw him… I don’t really know him.

Oh, and Arnie, at the bright age of 18 had a baby with is 17-year-old girlfriend, Jessica… Our family is just cursed. I swear there’s some bored, spoiled woman fictionally writing about my life on her tiny little blog… Because according to Netty, God is good and if He gets credit for my crummy life, I’m having a hard time believing the Man in the Sky is a good guy.

Albany was born when I was 7… to Bobby Church… and Genie is supposed to be Bobby’s- according to Jewel, but according to Bobby he is not her father, yet, he won’t do a DNA test to prove it. He wasn’t that bad. He swore worse than Jewel, drank a lot more, but he never beat anyone up… Jewel would beat on him. I really thought they would forever be miserable together… but Jewel caught him cheating and kicked him out. Three days later… she brought home the jerk.

“Nurse Netty”

“OW… Holly fluffing CRISP!” I scream.

“I need to make sure they’re clean.” Netty says as she washes my feet with a warm, rough wash cloth.

The soles of my feet sting like a fiery bee sting multiplied by a thousand.

I ran for as long as I could and then I walked. By the time I got all the way to her house the sun rose. Deshaun had already left for work and she was up… probably praying… I don’t know…

Now that she’s done cleaning my feet, she applies this fancy cream from the hospital… it’s actually super soothing… It must have a pain-killing agent in it.

The wooden toilet seat is finally starting to hurt my butt… I readjust to get comfy and she snaps at me to stay still as she holds gauze to my left foot and then she wraps it snuggly in white bandages.

I look up at the skylight. The foggy glass makes it impossible for anyone to see in clearly and for anyone to see out. The pastel green wall and matching tiny, rectangular tiles are pretty. I want a bathroom like this when I have a house one day. Well, if I ever have a house one day…

Gently, she sets my left foot down and picks up my right foot and rests my heel in between her knees, which she sits on upon the floor, at my feet.

I’ve always been jealous of her straight brown hair and light green eyes, and white-person complexion. She has a peach-earthy tone, but no one knows she’s part black. She looks white, so does Arnie. They look like twins, except for some reason he shaves his head completely bald and he doesn’t have a receding hairline. Maybe it’s because he’s a hipster. He sports a full beard that is weirdly red instead of brown, which he grooms and uses beard oil to keep it kempt. Moronically, he wears non-prescription glasses. Yes, the man collects fakes glasses, some of them lens-less, just to wear as a fashion statement.

“Savannah, why are you ignoring me?” Netty asks as gets of the ground slowly, groaning lowly like getting up is a real struggle.

“I’m sorry… What did you ask?” Wow… where is her attitude coming from? I got a lot on my mind. I can’t focus.

“Why did Aunt Jewel kick you out?”

I want to say part of the truth. I hit her and I burned her hand… If I tell her the full truth, I’m scared… Netty is so by the book about everything… What if she makes call the cops? I can’t do that. I won’t.

No. I need to lie altogether… at least until I figure out what to do.

“I’m pregnant…” Okay, I tell the truth a little.

I get to stay honest. I don’t need to say anything else. She jumps to conclusions like I knew she would. She’s convinced Derek is the father. She’s disappointed in me.  So disappointed she repeats it, “I’m very disappointed in you.”

That’s not fair! Oh wait, she doesn’t know everything, but I thought the God she served knows all, why isn’t He telling her the truth? Fine, she can feel however she wants about me.

I stand up only to experience shooting pain on the bottom of my feet. “Can I barrow a pair of shoes please?”

Fortunately, we’re both a size 7.

“You’re not going anywhere. You can stay in the spare room.” She holds out her elbow for me to take. “Let me help. Lean on me.”

I want to run, but I’m too exhausted. I want to cry, but I’m all cried out. I want to punch her in the face, but she doesn’t deserve it. I want to set Jewel on fire, but that is psychotic. I want to die, but then Albany and Genie would be sad. I want to be with Derek. I wish I knew where he was, because I would hitchhike my way to him. I’d repay my drivers however needed… H O W E V E R  N E E D E D.

We wobble to the end of the hall and across from the home office, we enter the spare room. The walls are a pastel yellow and the carpet is a plushy, thick cream. The room is tiny. A twin bed rests under the window and a tall, cherry wood dresser stands by the door next to the closet, with white wood sliding doors. A light blue quilt with a lavender flower pattern sits at the foot of the bed made with white sheets. The sunlight leaks through the cracked blinds, making the room cinematically inviting.

Side by side we sit on the bed.

“I remember like a few months ago… we had that really deep conversation over coffee and you were adamant you and Derek weren’t having sex… is Derek the father? You can tell me anything, you know that right?”

Instantly, my sight blurs from my newfound tears… Apparently, I can cry… still…

She swoops me into her embrace and I can’t let go. This attention feels amazing! Like I wish my mom had a nurturing bone in her body but she doesn’t… because all I really want is my mom… why can’t Jewel be my mom- like why can’t she love me like a good mom?

I want to tell Netty about all of it, but I can’t. I won’t… I’m tired…

“Get some rest,” Netty says in the threshold of the door. She adds, “Let me know if you need anything.”

I don’t bother to get under the covers. I grapple the pillow in my arms and lay my head on the mattress. The refreshing smell of detergent relaxes me a bit.

“Derek Phones Again”

Derek: Happy Thanksgiving!

Savvy: I can’t believe you’re not here.

Derek: Yeah… hopefully mom will let me come back for Christmas.

SAVVY panicked by the thought.

Savvy: I think it’s cool that your mom flew out to your dad’s so you could spend Thanksgiving with your whole family. If you had to spend Christmas like that, would that be so bad?

Derek: (Sighing) I just miss you like crazy… I miss Kaylie and Trev too, how are they?

Savvy: Um… not super great…

Derek: Why?

Savvy: Well, Kaylie wanted to place the baby in adoption and Trevor wanted them to keep the baby, but it doesn’t matter now…

Derek: (Shocked) She got an abortion?

Savvy: Ah… no… she um… miscarried… And Trevor’s trying to make up with her, but she’s totally cut him out of her life. To her they’re over… I kind of think it’s a good thing…

Derek: (Agitated) But isn’t she rededicated to Christ? How will Trevor get saved if she cuts him out of her life completely?

Savvy: She can barely look at him without thinking about the baby she lost. Give her some time Derek.

ANNETTE opens the door to make an announcement.

Annette: Dinner is ready and we’re ready to eat.

SAVVY sits up suddenly, muting her end of the phone call.

Savvy: Can you just save me a plate? I don’t know when I’ll talk to D again.

Annette: Did you tell him about the baby yet?

Savvy: I don’t want to tell him over the phone.

Annette: You need to come eat with us now and then do your homework. He can callback another day.

ANNETTE leaves the door open disappearing around the corner and down the hallway. SAVVY moans in a harsh hush tone, SUPER angry at ANNETTE and her dumb house rules to always eat dinner together. SAVVY unmutes the call.

Derek: Babe are you there?

Savvy: Can you call me tomorrow or soon? I have to go.

Derek: Um yeah… do I call this number?

Savvy: Yeah, this is officially my new number… I’m on Netty’s plan now.

Derek: Jewel is allowing that?

SAVVY freezes. She doesn’t know what to say to that. DESHAUN, ANNETTE’S husband peaks into the room. The black man stands tall at 6’5” and he’s a very muscular Firefighter. He keeps his head bald because he has a bald spot. He doesn’t have any facial hair though.

Deshaun: (Intimidatingly) Didn’t your sister tell you dinner was ready, and didn’t she tell you to join us?

Derek: Who is that?

Savvy: Yes, sir. I’ll be right out.

DESHAUN remains standing in place, glaring at SAVVY, waiting for her to move.

Derek: Is that the jerk?

Savvy: No. I love you, bye.

SAVVY hangs up on DEREK. She gets up and walks up to DESHAUN. She follows him to the dinning table.

Mirror, mirror, set before me

Show me the things I dread to see

That at heart I can be naïve

My melodramatic side

Is a genetic trait I cannot hide

And all these pet peeves I have about my own flesh and blood

Are the very traits that stream from my soul like a flood

This mirror called my family

They are everything I am

The good, the bad, the ugly, the sad

For some wild reason seeing this truth left me grateful and glad

How blessed I am, not cursed

To be the product of such diversity, immersed

In the likeness of generations pasts

With an inherited lens from ages that has managed to last

And many could say that I am stuck with this carnal nature of my DNA

But there is another NAME of a family to which I belong

And by that NAME I’m a new creature, not perfect but strong

I’m not ashamed, filled with guilt, or wrecked with pain

I see the world with nothing to lose but with everything to gain

Not for a lifetime of glory that will fade like a vapor before the mercy throne

But for eternity with stored treasure called souls, like jewels in the crown of the greatest love I’ve ever known

Mirror, mirror, my kin

I’m not held in chains by your sins

The next generation that I will bear

Will not be caught in death’s snare

Designed by the blood oath of our fathers and their fathers

But instead the next generation will have the lineage of a different Father

The bloodline of a King

The best part makes me want to sing

All that gunk I mentioned before

All the stuff I saw in my reflection that displayed who I am to the core

Will still be a part of me, free from the shackles of carnality

The good, the bad, the ugly, and the sad

Will be balanced and be as they should, so well it will look like a fad

So thanks again and again a thousand times yes again and again

To God be the glory forever and ever, AMEN

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall”

I see the woman who answered the call

A call to be part of the Christ’s Bride

A call to be a child of the Most High

Above all, to know the one who created me to be HUMAN

The creature I see staring back at me is  NOT…

A beast

A monster

A harlot

And definitely NOT- QUOTE – “ONLY HUMAN” – END QUOTE, which is really SUB-HUMAN

I am Human-Female

There’s nothing gray, twisted, or wrong with that

Mirror, mirror, I am beautifully sculpted, totally original, by Creator God- Father, Counselor, Friend, and Lover

No other created thing could be any better

Than the Self-Existent One

Spirit of God make me more and more WHOLE like YOU, WHOLE as shown in the life of Jesus, Your Son